The Yharnam Blood Hunt Diaries: Entry 14 – Byrgenwerth
It is so big now, and it’s freaking me out. Are we still on the same planet? Earth’s moon is not supposed to be that big in the sky. Is the rest of the world seeing the same? I’ll investigate that once I get out of here.
Investigation results: With no other path open to me, I made my way to Byrgenwerth. Something had made me hesitant to go there, but at first I couldn’t remember what. I really hate spiders.
Byrgenwerth currently sits more or less abandoned. The area is infested with insect-like bipedals that all seemed to want to jump onto my head. They were incredibly aggressive, and I squashed all who appeared. There were a few other creatures, but mostly it was those insects. Are they what remain of the scholars that used to inhabit the area? Or did they kill the scholars? When it comes to this place, it seems like it could easily be either.
The large building in the centre of the area seemed to serve as both library and research building. I would assume it was where the scholars performed all their work which did not require going into the field.
Aside from the myriad of books and equipment left abandoned, the building now only housed two individuals. The first appeared as I started to ascend the stairs. A woman, another rogue hunter, attempted to bombard me with a spell before she charged down the stairs to strike me with her cane-whip. In equipment, abilities, and appearance she seemed to closely resemble Iosefka. Some relation, perhaps?
Dealing with her was an intense back-and-forth, during which a lot of the ground-floor equipment was destroyed. I won out, but I spent every piece of ammunition I had brought, including some I had stolen off of her during the fight. My supply of blood vials was also nearly depleted.
However, I didn’t sense anything else alive or undead inside the building so I figured it was safe to explore before I went to resupply. The books there were a treasure trove of research materials and essays. I’m sure someone so inclined could spend years in there. I was rather looking for specific things, but it seemed pretty clear that the vast majority of this stuff was penned before things got overtly strange in Yharnam.
I did discover two things that I would only learn the later the relevance of. The first was a book on Yahar’Gul, a lost town under Yharnam that it seemed like most scholars believed to be a myth. The second was a passage that I made sure to write down on the spot, as I had an intense feeling that it was important. “When the red moon hangs low, the line between man and beast is blurred. And when the Great Ones descend, a womb will be blessed with child.”
After I felt done inside the building, I opened the second-floor doors and stepped out onto the balcony. There I found the building’s second occupant: an old man in a rocking chair. He seemed very familiar, though it took me a moment to remember. He reminded me of Master Willem from the vision I got in the Grand Cathedral. I can’t say for certain that it was the same man. He didn’t seem able to speak any longer, and anything I said to him just resulted in the same response. He pointed towards the edge of the balcony.
I went over and looked down, and saw a strangely glowing circle in the lake. I thought at first it was the moon’s reflection, but that did not seem to be the case. I quickly retreated to resupply, then returned. I could only deduce that the old man wanted me to jump in. Perhaps it’s because the madness now has a firm grip on me, but I was inclined to agree to his suggestion, so with merely the briefest hesitation I jumped in.
I could feel the splash and the water surrounding me for only a moment before I had a sensation of falling through air again. I opened my eyes before I landed. Around me was a vast, white expanse, covered in ankle-deep water as far as the eye could see. Straining my eyes as much as I could, the endless area seemed to contain only one thing. A mound with glowing growths across it. Even at a distance I could occasionally see movement that would indicate it being a creature, but I had to get closer to get a good look at it.
The creature seemed either oblivious or uncaring to my presence as I walked around and examined it. It was absolutely hideous, but compared to giant horrors I’ve seen like the one hanging off of Oedon chapel, it didn’t seem all that terrifying.
As I said, the thing did not react at all to my presence, until I reached out and touched one of the glowing growths on its back, which I figured was hair. At that point it seemed to take offence to my presence, and I could sense something dropping down from above. I quickly darted out of the way, and saw several large spiders now surrounding the thing. That was when I realised deformed heap of a creature was probably the Byrgenwerth spider I saw mentioned in the study in Oedon chapel’s basement.
My first instinct was to strike at the heads of these things, but I found them to be strangely hard. However, their bodies were quite vulnerable, and the spiders fell to a single body-blow. How deformed these things were helped me suppress my aversion to spiders, so I could deal with them rather than running away. It’s not like there was anything to run towards in this place anyhow.
The spiders guarded the larger one to the last, and only once I had finished off all of them could I dart in to attack. I found it strange how it had been so passive until now, and all it had been doing was trying to manoeuvre such that its head was always facing me. But as I started hacking into it, I could feel a surge of magic, and the thing did a short warp away. Then more spiders dropped down, and it started bombarding me with magic meteors.
It was tougher to get all the smaller spiders out of the way while also dodging the bombardments. It felt like it was a long time before the final spider fell, but when I was finally able to lay into the larger one again, it seemed to be out of magic. All it could do was thrash around and try to squash me with its weight, but that proved a futile struggle.
As it fell, and its body started dissolving into the shallow water, I felt a horrible sense of vertigo. Then suddenly I was back in the bowl room. Which I feel is pretty much as far away from Byrgenwerth as I could be in this place. The door in front of me was now open, and a sign on the inside said this was the way to Yahar’Gul. But before I went that way, I looked behind me, and out the door I could see that it was a lot lighter outside now.
I thought maybe dawn was breaking, but as I came outside I found I was quite wrong. The moon was a lot larger now, and it was also quite red. It was illuminating the area almost like a sun, and it felt like it shone with malice. I decided Yahar’Gul could wait, as I would rather check up on the town now.
One of the first things I noticed was how quiet it was now. There were no sounds coming from the houses any longer. Knocking brought no response, not even the deranged screaming I was getting so used to. All the bag-men were gone too. Not a single one of them to find anywhere any longer. Had they taken all the people? I attempted to warp back to the gaol as soon as I was back in the Dream, but I got no response from that either. It seemed like it had been deactivated, and I had no idea how to get there on foot.
As I approached the Grand Cathedral, I could smell fresh blood. At the top of the stairs I found Eileen. She was badly hurt, but was quick to assure me that she had taken enough blood to recover. She explained that one of her prey had gotten the better of her, but was also quick to add that I should stay out of it, that it was her task to complete. However, it wasn’t hard for me to tell that she was in no shape to do so, and might not be for a while. I saw her blood trail leading into the Cathedral, so I reasoned that whomever had put her in this state was in there.
She tried again to tell me to leave it alone as I walked inside, but I ignored her. I wasn’t about to let her attacker get away with this. Inside I found a man with a mad look on his face. His skills were sharp though, but after a short, fierce duel he fell. It had taken all of my blood vials to overcome him, but I had done it.
I had wanted to take that firearm of his, but as with every hunter I had felled so far, his equipment went poof along with the rest of him. I still find it a little unnerving how their bodies just fade away, but I’ve mostly gotten used to it now.
Outside Eileen again admonished me for not listening to her, but eventually she relented and acknowledged that she was grateful. She said that I maybe had what it took to be a hunter of hunters, and handed me a symbol that let the little imps know to find the appropriate uniform for me. She said to just let her rest for a while, and she would be fine. I’m not sure I believe her, but even in her current state I doubt I could have taken her away by force, especially not while also fighting my way through the streets.
When I went to check up on her shortly after she was gone. Though whether she got up and walked away, or she ended up going poof like everyone else, that I wasn’t able to discern.
Back at Oedon chapel things seemed to have taken a turn for the worse. The beggar seemed to have lost faith in this city ever recovering, the old lady was more or less the same, the grumpy man seemed more desperate in his insistence that I only spoke lies, sister Adella was reduced to something between laughing and sobbing, and Arianna complained about not feeling good. I could smell something from her, but I dearly hope I am wrong. The passages I found in both the gaol and in Byrgenwerth haunt me, though.
The last thing I have to add to this entry is that as I was re-examining the town, I found an area that had escaped my notice the first time around. It was the Dream. Except not. I suppose it’s more accurate to say it was like the place the Dream was based on. What the dreamer was dreaming of, perhaps. It was abandoned, though it was hard to tell for how long. And it was clearly missing certain things that you find in the Dream, but for the most part the layout was identical.
I found some items there, but apart from the hair ornament I gave to the doll, I have yet to figure out the rest. One of them just looks like a petrified umbilical cord.
There was also a note. “The Mensis ritual must be stopped, lest we all become beasts”. Perhaps I will find the answer to what that means down in Yahar’Gul.